Shoplifting Charges in Oregon

Learn about the laws, penalties and civil consequences of a shoplifting charge in Oregon. Find out if you can avoid a conviction and criminal record.

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Shoplifting in Oregon is a crime with serious penalties, including potential fines and jail time. In addition to facing criminal penalties, shoplifters can be sued by merchants in civil court to recover damages.

Oregon Shoplifting Laws

Oregon punishes shoplifting as theft (Or. Rev. Stat. 164.015). Theft is committed when a person takes property with the intent to deprive the owner, such as when a shoplifter removes merchandise from a store without paying. Theft can also be committed by deception, by creating a false impression of value that the offender does not believe to be true (Or. Rev. Stat. 164.085). Theft by deception could cover cases where a person alters price tags in order to pay less for merchandise than the true retail value. Criminal and civil penalties for shoplifting are described below.

Oregon Shoplifting Criminal Penalties

Charge

Classification

Penalty

Theft in the third degree under 164.043: Theft of an item valued at less than $100

Class C misdemeanor

Up to 30 days of jail time and/or a $1,250 fine

Theft in the second degree under 164.045: Theft of an item valued between $100 and $1,000

Class A misdemeanor

Up to one year of jail time and/or a $6,250 fine

Theft in the first degree under 164.055: Theft of an item valued at more than $1000; theft of a firearm or theft that occurs during a riot or other emergency

Class C felony

Up to five years of jail time and/or a $125,000 fine

Aggravated theft in the first degree under 164.057: Theft of an item valued at more than $10,000

Class B felony

Jail time of 16 to 45 months if the convicted individual is 65 years of age or older. Otherwise, up to 10 years of jail time and/or a $250,000 fine

Civil Liability

Adult shoplifters or the parents or legal guardians of juvenile shoplifters can be sued in civil court by victimized merchants for: the actual damages caused by the shoplifting, a penalty in the amount of the retail value of the item stolen (up to $500 for adult shoplifters or $250 if the parent or legal guardian of a juvenile shoplifter is paying), and an additional penalty between $100 and $250.

Alternatives to Prosecution and Plea Bargaining

Oregon district attorneys may offer certain individuals, charged with first-time and low-level crimes, alternatives to prosecution called diversion or deferred adjudication programs. Once an eligible individual completes the program requirements, which could include activities such as undergoing evaluation, taking educational courses, and paying restitution, the criminal charges will be dropped.

If diversion or deferred adjudication programs are not an option, the accused may be able to arrange a plea bargain with the prosecutor assigned to the case. Plea bargains typically involve receiving reduced charges or reduced sentencing in exchange for pleading guilty. Plea bargains are generally available at a prosecutor's discretion, and tend to be offered in situations where the prosecutor believes that evidence is lacking or that leniency is warranted.

Learn more about diversion and pretrial options.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been accused of shoplifting, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced Oregon criminal defense lawyer. A defense attorney can help you explore your options, such as pursuing alternatives to prosecution, raising defenses, or negotiating plea bargains, in order to minimize the consequences of a shoplifting charge.

by: , Attorney

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